Nobody wants to live with teeth stains!

lady eating chocolate with very stained teeth

We all are conscious of our looks. After all, the first impression is always the most important! If your first impression of someone is a mouthful of stained teeth, what are your first thoughts?

Teeth whitening is big business and there are many methods with varying costs associates to achieve that brilliant smile. In this article let’s look at the types of discoloration and the causes of each.

Two Types of Discoloration

Teeth than have been discolored usually can be labeled in one of two ways – intrinsic and extrinsic.
Extrinsic discoloration is the staining of the enamel on the outer layer or outside of the tooth and can appear as anything from white streaks to yellowing, or even spotting of the teeth.

Intrinsic discoloration as it sounds, is damage to the inside of the tooth, or the inner structure which is called the dentin where the whole tooth appears to be darkened to anything from a yellowish to a grayish tint.

Generally speaking, the exterior staining of teeth can be reversed with whitening products and services. If the dentin has been damaged, normally cosmetic dentistry is required as in veneers or other types of covering of the teeth.

We have written many articles about both whitening and veneers.

Causes of Tooth Discoloration

To effectively understand how to gain and keep that wonderfully, brilliant smile, we must know what causes the problem in the first place!

#1. Tobacco. The effects of smoking or chewing tobacco are widely known including teeth staining. (Tobacco also stains fingers and almost everything else!)

#2. Inadequate teeth care. Poor dental habits lead to discolored teeth. Brushing twice per day and flossing regularly are a very important part in keeping that white smile.

#3. What you eat and drink. Exterior discoloration can happen with items we use every day. Colas, wines, and especially coffee and teas all contribute to discolored teeth.

#4. Illness. Sometimes it’s not your fault. Enamel development in newborns can be affected by the mother’s illness and infections, or even by antibiotics the mother takes during the normal course of a pregnancy.

#5 Aging. As we get older simple use of the teeth can wear down the enamel coating allowing the natural yellow of the dentin to show.

#6 Dental work. Some procedures (root canals for example) can cause damage to teeth.

#7 Accident. Often veneers or other cosmetic dentistry work is performed to cover damage to teeth from falls or other damage to teeth.

So whether the discoloration or damage to your teeth is self-inflicted or an accident makes little difference to the dentist who is going to make your smile perfect again. And the good news is that a great dentist like Dr. Abeyta with years of experience will get rid of those teeth stains!